Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Facebook Like and Advertising Collisions

I thought I'd post this problem to the Internet to see what response, if any, I would get. I've spent hours "chasing ghosts" with it, and have not been able to identify a good set of repeatable steps to recreate the problem (thus, it is difficult to pin-point and fix). I'm hoping that keyword searches will bring people who might be searching for information on this problem to this post. Please comment or email me directly if you have any insight on this issue.

The Problem
Facebook Like buttons swap and/or interfere with Google Adsense Ads and other advertising (ie: Halogen). The problem is intermittent and difficult to reproduce, but it seems to happen more often than not when the button on a browser is used. This could be navigating to an external site and clicking to return or navigating from within the site. It is not browser specific and has been seen in Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 3.6, Safari, and Chrome.

The Screenshots
This is what a normal webpage looks like. Notice there is a banner ad on top, a Facebook Like button/link under the blog title, and some advertising in the right margin.

This is what one of the problem pages looks like. It is the s
ame page as above, but the Facebook Like button/link has replaced the banner ad, Google Ads has replaced the Facebook Like button (thus causing the Twitter button to wrap), and the right margin advertising is not rendering.

Here is another rendition of the problem. The Facebook Like button/link has been replaced with a banner ad that is far too large for the space; thus pushing the Facebook Like too far to the right, the Twitter button has been pushed to the right margin, and right margin advertising is not rendering.

By all estimates, not very many regular users experience this problem. Nevertheless, it exists and it is a problem I would like to pin-point and eliminate.

Have you seen or experienced this before on your website, and do you know what might be causing it?

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